I’ve got bright pink marks on the outside of both calves now, stigmata from my motorcycle’s tailpipes and my habit of wearing knee shorts to work. Harley guys will ride around on the interstate in a strappy T-shirt and no helmet, but they won’t wear shorts on their bikes, and I guess I can see why. The burn on my right leg is from lowering the centerstand outside the bookstore two weeks ago; I cursed and swore and almost dropped the bike. The burn on my left leg is from getting too close while gassing up last night; I cursed and swore and hopped up and down, startling a small dog across the way.
I have to admit that I feel kind of tough with the burns: they’re motorcycle accessories that you can’t order from a catalog. But burns don’t look cool, like Heidelberg scars: they’re, well, icky. It’s the difference between an eyepatch (really cool) and a colostomy bag (really not.) Or maybe a wooden leg and a trachiotomy, or something.